Attorney seeks delay in stabbing case

Man allegedly was injured when victim fought back

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The injuries Jose Murillo sustained when a gas-station attendant fought back during an alleged attack are preventing him from being able to assist in his own defense, says attorney Andres Guevara.

Guevara told Judge Marilyn Leonard Antrim that Murillo’s mental state has declined over the last few months since he got out of the hospital, and asked for more time to get him evaluated.

According to Littleton police, surveillance video shows Murillo and alleged accomplice Nicholas Zapata bursting into Littleton Neighborhood Food and Gas, 1009 W. Littleton Blvd., on the evening of June 10. Detective Russell Hoffman testified that Murillo immediately went behind the counter, where clerk Eric Barzideh, the store owner’s son, was stooped over counting lottery tickets.

Murillo allegedly began stabbing the clerk with what Hoffman described as a paring knife. Barzideh reacted quickly, said Hoffman, grabbing a claw hammer off the counter and fighting back.

Murillo hit the floor shouting “stop,” said Hoffman, and Zapata ran out the door. Barzideh immediately called 911. He and Murillo were both taken to local hospitals.

The clerk underwent open-heart surgery and recovered quickly, according to his father, Bijan Barzideh.

Zapata was arrested without incident three days later at the Littleton Light Rail Station.

Judge Antrim set a review date for Feb. 4. Zapata is scheduled to appear in court again on Jan. 3.

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